The following comes from a July 24 Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Philip B. Dreisbach. Dr. Dreisbach is the director of the Desert Hematology Oncology Medical Group at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
I am an oncologist/hematologist who has been practicing in California, primarily at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, for 39 years. It has been my privilege to have treated and cared for more than 16,000 patients with cancer or blood diseases and to have provided pain relief and comfort for the dying.
I am also one of six concerned physicians who, along with the American Academy of Medical Ethics, have sued in a California Superior Court to try to block as unconstitutional the state’s Physician Assisted Suicide law, which went into effect on June 9.
Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown and voted against by every elected Republican member of the state legislature, California’s radical measure is part of an organized, nationwide, social-engineering campaign, heavily funded by big donors such as the leftist George Soros.
Our state’s physician-assisted suicide law instantly removes penal-code protections from a vulnerable segment of the population deemed “terminally ill.” The law allows anyone labeled as terminally ill to request assisted suicide—but it also accepts heirs and the owners of caregiving facilities to formally witness such requests, even though the probate code does not even accept “interested” parties as witnesses to a will.
The law does not require an attending physician to refer the patient for psychological assessment. It thus does not allow for screening for possible coercion, or for underlying mental conditions that could be behind the suicide request—unless the patient has signs of mental problems, which may not be visible to a suicide-specialist doctor they may not even know. In these and other ways, the law devastates elder-abuse law and mental- health legal protections, and it deprives those labeled as terminally ill of equal-protection rights that all other Americans enjoy.
All of us in the practice of cancer care have seen patients, diagnosed with so-called terminal illness, who have experienced a marvelous remission of disease. Very little is absolute—except death itself.
And why must it be the physician who facilitates self-murder? Why not make the agent of death a non-physician who is given special permission to order and administer a regimen of lethal drugs? No, the advocates want to exploit the respect and trust accorded to the “good doctor” so that drug-induced deaths are viewed as “compassionate.” It is part of the marketing scheme for a small but influential necro-political movement.